In today’s fast-paced business world, employee wellbeing is no longer a perk – it’s a necessity. According to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in 2022, work-related stress, depression or anxiety accounted for 50% of all work-related ill health cases in the UK. That’s a staggering statistic, and it’s one that can hit small and medium businesses just as hard, if not harder, than larger corporations.

But how do you know if your employees are thriving or just surviving? Here’s where measuring workplace wellbeing comes in, of course, we’re going to cover the “why” and the “how” along with identifying some of the practical metrics that you can use. By tracking key metrics, you gain valuable insights into your company culture, employee satisfaction, and potential areas for improvement.

Why Measure Workplace Wellbeing?

The benefits of a happy and healthy workforce are undeniable. Studies by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) show that businesses with strong wellbeing initiatives experience reduced absenteeism, increased productivity, and improved employee engagement.

Here in the UK, where the CIPD reports that presenteeism (working while unwell) costs businesses an estimated £15.1 billion a year, focusing on preventative measures through wellbeing initiatives becomes even more critical for small businesses.

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Define your wellbeing objectives

Start with clear goals – knowing what you want to change or understand helps you pick the most appropriate metrics:

  • What aspects of wellbeing are most relevant to your business?
  • Are you focusing on mental health, physical health, work-life balance, or all three?
  • What is driving the decision to measure wellbeing right now?

Don’t forget to link to the bigger picture for the organisation and the current strategy and business plan.

The most successful wellbeing programmes out there have a strategy and defined improvement/action plan that links to the wider business strategy rather than working in isolation with a scattergun methodology.


How do we Measure It? What are the metrics we should consider?

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach.  It all starts with what are you looking to understand more about or change and how it links to the business strategy.

It’s really important to understand that wellbeing is multi-dimensional and multi-faceted, so there is no one single measurement, it’s about building a picture from different data sources that bring context and meaning to the wellbeing in your workplace.

I can not stress enough about anonymity and maintaining confidentiality.  You’ll be looking at numbers and themes, NOT the specifics or anything that has the potential to identify an employee.  

Based on your objectives, select a mix of the metrics mentioned that best suit your needs. Consider starting small and gradually expanding your metrics as you become more comfortable with the process.

Here are some key metrics you can use to gauge wellbeing in your workplace:

  • Employee Surveys: Regular pulse surveys (short, frequent surveys) can provide a wealth of information on employee morale, stress levels, and satisfaction with work-life balance. Platforms like SurveyMonkey or Google Forms make creating and distributing surveys a breeze.
  • Absence Management: Track sick leave and identify patterns. While some absence is unavoidable, a spike in sick days could indicate underlying issues like stress or burnout.
  • Employee Engagement: Look at metrics like participation in company events, suggestion box usage, and internal communication channels. Low engagement can be a sign of disconnection and potential dissatisfaction.
  • Productivity Metrics: While harder to measure, productivity can reflect the overall wellbeing of your teams. Metrics such as output quality, customer satisfaction, or the achievement of project milestones can indicate the level of engagement and motivation among employees. Declines in productivity often point to areas where wellbeing support is needed.
  • Utilisation Rates: Understanding how often employees engage with services such as your EAP or health champions – confidentiality & anonymity is important here, you looking to see how many people engaged with the services and the key themes NOT who has used the services.
  • Performance Reviews: Use these as an opportunity to discuss not just work performance, but also employee wellbeing. Encourage open communication about workload and stress factors.
  • Turnover Rates: High turnover rates can be a red flag for underlying wellbeing and engagement issues.
  • Exit Interviews: When employees leave, gather their honest feedback. While not always comfortable reading, exit interviews can reveal underlying issues impacting morale and wellbeing.
  • Health and Safety Records: An often overlooked aspect of wellbeing is the physical work environment. Health and safety records, including incident reports and risk assessments, can shed light on the physical aspects affecting employee wellbeing, from ergonomic issues to workplace hazards.

Remember, metrics are just a starting point. Once you have the data, analyse it and identify trends:

  • Are there specific teams with higher absenteeism?
  • Is employee engagement dropping after a new policy implementation?
  • How does the data correlate with national/international affairs?

Use all of this information to help you build a picture of wellbeing in your workplace, it will also help you tailor your approach and implement targeted solutions in line with your strategic plans.  Initially, there may be some discomfort at the picture painted by the data, but, this is your opportunity to make positive changes.

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Communicate with your employees

Transparency is key; taking time to explain to your employees why you’re measuring wellbeing and how the information will be used to make positive changes is absolutely crucial.  Ensure that you offer the opportunity for employees to ask questions and make suggestions.  In my experience, some of the best suggestions and improvements come from the employees themselves.

Collect Data Regularly

Wellbeing is dynamic, so regular check-ins are essential. Whether it’s monthly surveys or annual health assessments, consistent data collection provides the most accurate picture of your organisation’s wellbeing.

Analyse and Act

Data alone isn’t enough; it’s what you do with it that counts. Analyse your findings, identify trends, and implement targeted initiatives to address the issues uncovered. Then, measure the impact of these initiatives over time to refine your approach.

Ready to take the first step?

Start by choosing a few simple metrics to track and see what insights they reveal. Even small changes can make a big difference in the overall wellbeing of your team.



A bit about me & my background

Before I became a Women’s Health  Specialist….
I was an MBA-educated Senior Leader, alongside being a Chartered Health and Safety Practitioner.  I’ve worked in several technically complex and operationally diverse industries that present numerous challenges to keep people healthy, safe and well.  I have a proven track record of delivering exceptional results in many areas.

I offer workplace health and wellbeing consultancy that provides tailored support and guidance for organisations that may not have their own HR, Safety or Occupational Health teams but want to protect the health and wellbeing of their employees.

How can I help your workplace to be happier, healthier and more engaged?

  • Develop a wellbeing leadership framework
  • Develop wellbeing specific policies
  • Undertake a health & wellbeing gap analysis
  • Help build a picture of your health risks
  • Help you develop your wellbeing programme
  • Workshop Facilitation & Training Delivery
  • Specific training sessions for menopause for leaders, managers and employees
  • Raise the profile of women’s health in the workplace
  • MHFA & Health Champion Trainer
  • Provide ongoing support for your mental health first aiders & health champions
  • Complete complex workplace assessment (DSE/Ergonomic)
  • Return to Work Enabler
  • Take part in your wellbeing events
  • Host your menopause café

If you’d like to improve your workplace wellbeing or know an organisation that you work with that might be struggling to take the first steps or have a specific wellbeing challenge you’d like to solve, I’d love to work with you, so do get in contact.

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